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Fighting for the right to have a service or assistant animal

(POLITICS) The newest housing drama comes against our favorite furry animal companions and whether or not they should be allowed.

service animals, good puppers

Animals and endorphins

Sometimes working hard is hard work. Having gone into exhaustive (not to say exhausting) detail about the National Association of Realtors’s reply to HUD’s recent request for comment elsewhere I think both my beloved readership and I deserve a treat.

Therefore… everyone needs to watch videos of adorable adorable animals!

Animal animosity

Seriously, take a second and watch this video. It’ll improve your day, I’ll wait.

Let no one say The Real Daily did not bring heroic helper monkeys into your life.

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Anyway. Service animals are, believe it or not, a complicated legal issue. What is and isn’t allowed, what does and doesn’t qualify, touches on everything from housing to zoning to healthcare to law enforcement.

The case for service animals

Service animals are also part of the current dialogue between the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Association of Realtors. Really!

Hallowed halls in which to be debating the provenance of your stalwart guide horse or emotional support snake, for certain.

Real talk, though: service animals are a big deal in housing.

That’s why they featured prominently in NAR’s recent reply to HUD’s request for comment pursuant to their reform mandate. They raise complicated issues of mobility, hygiene and tenant wellbeing for realtors, landlords and homeowners alike.

Animals currently in service

NAR’s argument is notably at odds with the rest of its letter. NAR is on board with the overall anti-regulation tone of the current administration, as it has been ever since endorsing current HUD Secretary Ben Carson for the job when he was first proposed.

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The one exception is service animals.

The NAR letter, which argues for a relaxation of HUD regulation in everything from residential zoning to housing segregation, actually calls for stricter oversight in the matter of service animals.

HUD’s current standard is that a person seeking accommodation for a service animal request it from the property owner.

The owner may require confirmation from a medical professional that the animal is a necessity.

HUD has no legally mandated standards for what specific certifications the medical professional must possess, or what level of examination must take place before the confirmation may be provided.

Just doing research

So fluffy – or scaly, not forgetting about you up there, Emotional Support Snake – animals are, in fact, Serious Business.

At the very least, that should give you a half-decent excuse for if your boss busts you watching that capuchin video.

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Written By

Matt Salter is a writer and former fundraising and communications officer for nonprofit organizations, including Volunteers of America and PICO National Network. He’s excited to put his knowledge of fundraising, marketing, and all things digital to work for your reading enjoyment. When not writing about himself in the third person, Matt enjoys horror movies and tabletop gaming, and can usually be found somewhere in the DFW Metroplex with WiFi and a good all-day breakfast.


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